Driffield Town Councillors have branded work carried out on the Driffield Beck by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) as ‘environmental vandalism’.
On Saturday (5 October) staff from ERYC’s streetscene services undertook litter picking and cut back some of the weeds in the Beck near Eastgate carpark. However, town councillors are unhappy about the state of the area.
The Town Council has also received complaints from concerned Driffield residents about excessive litter in and around the beck on Cranwell Street.
Driffield Town Council Clerk Claire Binnington said: “We accept that currently the state of the beck is appalling, the weeds, particularly adjacent to the car park, are causing real problems with regard to trapped rubbish. The ERYC informed the clerk last week that they would be litter picking and addressing the weed problems at Eastgate car park and that this would take place on Saturday.
“It would seem that very little work took place and the clerk’s request on Friday for the Cranwell Street area to be litter picked unfortunately did not reach the relevant officer until Monday morning.”
An ERYC spokesperson said: “After further correspondence with the town council, a member of the refuse and streets team will inspect the work and make arrangements for any further work, as necessary. The services of the council’s catchment drainage engineer will also be offered to the town council to help address the matter of other clearance works along the beck that are the responsibility of adjacent riparian landowners, as set out under the Land Drainage Act 1991.”
Coun Heather Venter said: “A fellow councillor and I came to inspect the work on Saturday morning at 11.30am, there was no sign of anyone, but strimmed weeds just left in the beck. “
Coun Paul Rounding added: “It’s like environmental vandalism. The beck runs through the town and should enhance the area, instead it looks like an eyesore.”
The Town Council is now looking at options to address the problem.
Coun Paul Rounding added: “The Town Council organise the Dusting Down Driffield scheme and I think that now is the time to start to look at something similar being put in place with beck.”
Claire Binnington said: “We recently got involved in a community canal clearing day, I think we could organise something similar for the beck, in conjunction with the East Yorkshire Chalk Rivers Trust, who will ensure we do it correctly, with regard to the flora and fauna, and then put in place a regular maintenance regime”.